Membership in The United Methodist Church begins with the Sacrament of Baptism which celebrates our complete dependence upon God. Through the sacrament we accept God's gift of grace and yield our lives to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
The Apostle Paul spoke of being baptized "into Christ" (Rom. 6:3). He may well have had in mind that we are partakers of the grace of Christ through baptism, as well as being initiated into the fellowship that had its origin in Christ
We are baptized into Christ's universal Church, not into a particular denomination or congregation. United Methodists, therefore, acknowledge the baptism of other Christian churches: those persons who transfer their membership from another denomination into our church are not rebaptized. For more information about membership, click here.
Baptism may be administered by sprinkling, pouring, or immersion. Sprinkling is the usual method in Williamsburg United Methodist Church.
The United Methodist Church baptizes persons of all ages. Infant baptism symbolizes our utter dependence upon God, giving us one of our best insights into the true meaning of baptism at any age.
When infants or small children are baptized, their parents or sponsors bring the child forward, make the vows on their behalf and pledge to bring them up in the Christian faith. When the children reach the age of confirmation, they themselves then affirm the vows that were made in their behalf at their baptism.
For an expanded discussion of Baptism, including responses to some frequently asked questions, click here.